It is our default as people, during a time like this, to just wait. We think we will take it slow, be patient, and wait until things return to normal… so we can get on with our lives.

But, deep inside of each of us is a persistent little voice telling us that “normal” has been altered forever.

I was recently reflecting on how I have felt over this past month of world-altering, shelter-in-place mayhem, and I have decided the best way I can describe it is – invigorated. It felt odd (or maybe even wrong) to admit that. I asked myself why I felt that way and came up with this – the way we feel about something is a direct result of our response to it. And, our response at Prominent has been powerful.

Prominent, as a company, has done the opposite of waiting patiently. We have taken a very active approach to this situation. While we cannot ignore the fact that this time in history is lined with tragedy, we are energized and are hungry for ways to use this global event as an opportunity to come out on the other side a better version of ourselves.

Below are the first 5 powerful ways which we have responded to this world-changing situation. We will cover an additional 5 responses in the second part of this series.

Communicating with Our Team

While many of us are good communicators, it takes time and effort to actually communicate. We felt a strong instinctual pull to communicate with our team throughout this situation. We didn’t communicate anything surprising – we communicated the things that seemed kind of obvious… let us know if you feel sick, don’t feel guilty about staying away from the office, let us know if working from home has made it difficult to get your work done…

We just talked about it. We communicated regularly. We communicated from the top down. We communicated through our organizational structure. We solicited communication from the team.

I’m going to go ahead and admit that we haven’t always been the best at communicating within our organization. Even now, we are probably only doing a B- job. But our increased communication has solicited appreciation from the team. Comments have come my way of how some of these communications have made them feel better about the situation.

Clear, brief, simple communication melts away fears.

Theorizing and Strategizing

We spent time thinking about possible permutations of this situation and how we could react best to each permutation.

If a cure was found tomorrow, was already stockpiled, and easily distributed… many aspects of business could be back to normal in a month or so. But, now there’s an extra $2 Trillion circulating in the economy. Spending on custom software development could increase. How can we be prepared for that?

If no cure is found and we need to flatten the curve for 18 months straight in order to keep from overwhelming our hospitals… many business processes are inefficient when done remotely. Those processes could be made better by custom software. How can we be prepared for that?

We are not helplessly waiting to see what our global situation throws at us, but instead are already planning our next steps regardless.

Reaching Out to Our Customers

If you are one of our customers, you might have noticed an uptick in communication from Prominent. We have intentionally spent more time reaching out to our customers and potential customers.

Why? Because we want our customers to know we are still ready to help them. We aren't afraid of talking about the realities of what is happening. We are prepared to hear things like, “We can’t fund that next project, sorry.” We are equally prepared to hear them say, “This situation has caused us to examine some of our processes and systems and we need your help.”

Listening to How This is Affecting Others

People want to talk about it. People are lonely. Everyone has their own stories which they want to tell… fascinating stories of how this is affecting them and those around them.

Business people want to talk about it. They want to tell their stories and discuss the difficulties. They want someone to talk about the elephant in the room – the cutbacks, the layoffs, the bleak outlooks, and the big opportunities.

And after people talk about it, there is a palatable sense of relief. It doesn’t seem quite so overwhelming anymore.

Sharing Our Story

People want to know how it is affecting us – they want to empathize; they want to relate.

In a recent conversation with a co-worker, we realized that each of us knew a different couple who were in a car accident together prior to dating. In each situation, through the trauma of the accident and the pain of recovery, the individuals ended up dating and eventually marrying.

Traumatic situations can bind us together – deepening and strengthening our relationships.

Parting Thoughts

We all feel stunned, to some degree, with the current state of our world. I hope the above responses can inspire you to communicate, strategize, reach out, listen, and share… or whatever your powerful response should be.

Tune in for Part 2 of this article where we cover the five remaining powerful responses.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alan Peltz
Since becoming a professional, I’ve developed two passions: 1) Making software solutions that are valuable and predictable; 2) Raising the bar for software development in the Upper Midwest region. I started Prominent in the fall of 2009 as an independent software developer and I’ve served in nearly every role in software development - including developer, development lead, architect, quality assurance and project manager. Now, I focus on setting direction and vision for the best software development company (if I must say so myself) in the Upper Midwest. This includes strategic solutioning, software development process improvement and team leadership. I'm having more fun now than I've ever had before as a professional. This has everything to do with the amazing team we have at Prominent. It is a privilege to guide this great team.